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PLATFORM Playstation 4

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Review

publisher: Square Enix
developer: Square Enix
genre: RPG

ESRB rating: RP

release date: Mar 17, 15
» All About Final Fantasy Type-0 HD on ActionTrip

Final Fantasy Type-0 originally released in Japan in 2011 for the PSP, and it was never localized for the West. Due to fan outcry, Square Enix acquiesced for the game to cross the s Pacific in an HD remake for the PlayStation 4. Type-0 is supposed to be part of Final Fantasy’s “Fabula Crystallis” series, which shares a similar mythology across games. The other games include Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XV; formerly known as Final Fantasy XIII Versus. God this stuff is confusing (You’re telling me!! – Ed. Vader). However, it seems to me that Type-0 is more of a love letter to Final Fantasy fans, one that encompasses a bit from each game: the l’Cie from Final Fantasy XIII, the missions settings of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, the world of four crystals from all of the first few Final Fantasy games and the Dissidia games, the visuals of Final Fantasy X, and the machinery from Shinra. Unfortunately, the entire game feels exactly like that hodgepodge I just described.

The world of Type-0 takes place in the world of Orience, where four kingdoms swear fealty to one particular crystal that gives that particular land their power. One of these kingdoms, the Milites Empire, invaded the Dominion of Rubrum without provocation. This is the story of how Rubrum tried to fight back and keep its independence, and how most of their battles were won thanks to the Class Zero Agito Cadets. Type-0 delves into the horrors of war, including both the violence of battle and the cut-throat politics that goes on behind the scenes. Class Zero consists of fourteen cadets (who are all oddly named after the ranks of cards) who seem to have come from nowhere, and unlike the other Agito Cadets, their magical powers aren’t tied to Rubrum’s crystal, giving them an extra edge against the Empire’s forces. As such, they’re called upon more often than any other class of cadets to assist on the battlefield.

The player controls three cadets of Class Zero at one time, but whenever one falls in battle, another can be summoned in via the reserves. The game is only over when all fourteen cadets fall. Combat is not a typical FF turn-based affair; it’s action based. Each cadet has their own particular methods of combat, so it’s essential to get to know each one’s strengths and weaknesses when setting your active party and reserve formation. Also, it’s vital to constantly rotate the active party so that everyone has a chance to level up equally. There may be some characters you never like to use unless you have to for your active leader (the player-controller character), but you’ll still want them in your party to level up and wreak havoc to the Imperial soldiers. For instance, I was not a fan of Deuce, who had no real attacks except for some magic attacks. Her weapon was the flute, which she played to buff the party and debuff the enemy. She was honestly quite useful to have around, just not in my control. If she ever became party leader, I switched to another character as soon as I could.

In addition, the player could opt for “support” members to rotate in and out of the party from the Cadet Akademia. Opting in for these support members kept your cadets alive a little longer, but they brought in extra rewards as well, including SPP that could be redeemed for side quest rewards or spent at particular shops. The support members were copies of the cadets and were often at a far higher level than most of my party. The other neat thing about the support team was that when they came in, they were introduced as a very specific Japanese name, and then it would be revealed that these were the actual names of the game’s developers and voice actors. I’ve played with the lead level designer, lead menu designer, lead character modeler, combat programmer, several Japanese voice actors, and lots of project managers. That’s just what I remember. It’s quite honestly the neatest way I’ve seen credits roll.

The SPP only rotate in during real missions, not during side quests or any exploration battles. In between missions, Class Zero is given so many hours to run around Akademia or Rubrum. The hours tick away only by talking to people or leaving Akademia. Each time you talk to someone, two hours lapse. Each time you leave the building, 8 hours passes. So during this time, you can attend some lectures for leveling up bonuses, as this is a school, after all, leave Akademia to level grind or complete tasks given to you, make some new friends and learn more about the world of Orience, or talk to the head of HQ and skip right to mission time. Leaving to explore is obviously the fastest way to roll through the hours, and you can get some nice experience to boot and level up the cadets. Plus, you can rustle up chocobos for breeding at the ranch in the overworld! However, grinding by exploration is extremely tedious and well, boring, even boring by Final Fantasy standards. If the side quests were more meaningful than simple fetch quests, I might be more enticed to go on these grinding adventures, but they don’t add to the overall story, and the only rewards other than experience gathering are gifts of phoenix downs or elixirs.

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7.5   Good

Refreshing for a FF game to go back to the action-RPG combat, a wide variety of characters and fighting techniques, plenty of FF callbacks and references to keep fans happy, and a twisting and intriguing story that will keep fans on their toes and curious to learn more;

It should have stayed with the handheld format, the graphics were a slight disappointment for a new generation of consoles, and the grinding and exploration was far too forced when it really didn't have to be.


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